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275 Inspiring Quotes by Bruce Lee

  • Last updated Jun 28 2021

Wikipedia Summary for Bruce Lee

Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), commonly known as Bruce Lee (Chinese: 李小龍), was a Chinese American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor and philosopher. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA).

Lee is considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.

The son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen, Lee was born in the Chinatown area of San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong, and was raised with his family in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. His early martial arts experience included Wing Chun, tai chi, street fighting, and boxing, winning the Hong Kong schools boxing tournament. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education at the University of Washington in Seattle; it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts, later drawing significant attention at the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships. In the 1970s, his Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in the Chinese nation and Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of his films dramatically influenced and changed martial arts and martial arts films worldwide.

He is noted for his roles in five feature-length martial arts films in the early 1970s: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest's Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; and Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.

Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, based upon his portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films, and among Asian Americans for defying stereotypes associated with the emasculated Asian male. Having initially learnt Wing Chun, tai chi, boxing, and street fighting, he combined them with other influences from various sources into the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).

Lee had residences in Hong Kong and Seattle.

Lee died on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32. There was no visible external injury; however, according to autopsy reports, Lee's brain had swollen considerably. The autopsy found Equagesic in his system. When the doctors announced Lee's death, it was officially ruled a "death by misadventure". Since his death, Lee has continued to be a prominent influence on modern combat sports, including judo, karate, mixed martial arts, and boxing, as well as modern popular culture, including film, television, comics, animation and video games. Time named Lee one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.

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Longer Version:

All types of knowledge ultimately lead to self-knowledge. So, therefore, these people are asking me to teach them, not so much how to defend themselves or how to do somebody in. Rather, they want to learn to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination or whatever. So, in other words, they're paying me to show them, in combative form, the art of expressing the human body.


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Dedication, absolute dedication, is what keeps one ahead. A sort of

indomitable obsessive dedication and the realization that there is

no end or limit to this because life is simply an ever-growing process,

an ever-renewing process.


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We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.


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Longer Version:

Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. Learn, master, and achieve.


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Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely- lay your life before him!!


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Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: “When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.


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Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.


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One will never get any more than he thinks he can get. YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. Look back and see your progress - damn the torpedo, full speed ahead!


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Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.


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Action is a high road to self-confidence and self-esteem.




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I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which leaf, which design of branches, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.


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If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward you goal.


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To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now, it is very difficult to do. It has always been very easy for me to put on a show and be cocky, and be flooded with a cocky feeling and feel pretty cool and all that. I can make all kinds of phoney things. Blinded by it. Or I can show some really fancy movement. But to experience oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly, now that is very hard to do.


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